Welcome to SawSharp
Your source for handsaw sharpening & restoration, online reference tools, and training seminars.
I’m Mark Harrell, founder of Bad Axe Tool Works. Through this website, you may sign up for one of my weekend or five-day intensive sharpening seminars, where I will personally help you put into practice everything I know from my past fifteen years spent as a saw doc, while producing and building the entire lineup of Bad Axe saws. There's a bit more about who I am just a little further below.
Here you will find everything you need to take control of your nest of saws:
- Weeklong or weekend intensive sharpening seminars
- In-house restoration sharpening or restoration services
- Exhaustive reference for a more DIY approach
Sign up for my newsletter today for a 10% discount, good for any of my services or upcoming seminars.
What We Do
Don't Miss My Next Event!
Once a quarter, I gather together up to a half-dozen woodworkers for an intensive two-day saw tune-up and sharpening seminar hosted at our shop in Superior, Wisconsin. For an additional charge at 15% off, you will even go home with your own Bad Axe saw that I've helped you build to spec.
Prefer something more intensive? I also offer quarterly week-long seminars for those of you who choose to go the extra mile. Here, you get to build two Bad Axe saws under my oversight and inclusive with the tuition that you'll take home with you.Reserve Your Spot Now!
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Who is this guy?
I'm Mark Harrell, retired Army guy, founder of Bad Axe Tool Works, and owner of SawSharp—your resource for handsaw sharpening, restoration, and training.
Throughout the 14 years I owned and operated Bad Axe, I developed basic weekend and advanced 5-day saw sharpening seminars, to teach others how to take ownership of their saw arsenal, and keep them well-maintained and razor sharp. I write extensively on saw maintenance, design, utility and sharpening, and for the past decade have strived to impart my methods and techniques, as well as teaching at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking and other venues.
Having recently passed on Bad Axe ownership to my former employees, I now work independently to restore vintage saws and conduct the SawSharp line of weekend and five-day advanced saw sharpening seminars. I am also completing work on my book, The Continuum of a Toothline: How To Select, Use, Sharpen and Maintain Traditional Handsaws.
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Published articles and a book on the way.
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Thanks to the Bad Axe crew for putting on a great saw-sharpening seminar. Increasing my confidence for sharpening saws was only half of what we accomplished. Mark invited us into the darkest nether regions of his brain, where he stores his vast expertise regarding saws, sharpening, sawing technique (hands-on instruction included), saw building, saw restoration, Disston history, LaCrosse imbibing establishments, "micro shrapnel," real shrapnel, Roubo workbenches and other fun stuff that any nerdy saw geek would appreciate. Even if you already know how to sharpen saws (or if you think you know), you probably still deserve to spend a couple days with the Bad Axe crew, shaping metal and punching teeth out of steel with Mark's fleet of vintage equipment. Thanks to Mark and all the Bad Axe crew for a great experience.
Books, DVDs, and fancy gadgets cannot provide the confidence that is attained under the watch of a true master. From trouble shooting of vintage saws to their complete restoration or the building of a new Bad Axe Saw, this class covered saws in an intuitive and comprehensive fashion. Mark Harrell, the Bad Axe Tool Works team, and the saw sharpening seminar curriculum are first rate.
Mark, you are the first person (that I’ve seen or heard) who has taught saw sharpening without using a jig of some sort. Everything I’ve read (yes, everything) is always using a jig or reference line of some sort to get the job done. It felt very natural to run a file using your method.
I had never even tried to sharpen a saw before your class and on the second day I was able to sharpen my own saw a little better than "serviceable" (in my opinion anyway!). The only downside is, since I took the class I've had three requests from family members to get saws back in shape for them!
One of the turning points for me was taking a saw sharpening class with Mark Harrell over at Bad Axe Tool Works. I wrote about that experience HERE. Working with Mark taught me to trust the feel of the file and the things my eyes were seeing and has let me do away with the guide blocks and jigs I'd been using up to this point. Knowing what to look for has improved my sharpening greatly.
La Crosse, WI
My hopes and expectations were exceeded by miles. I made new friends. I learned how to sharpen hand saws. I gained confidence in my ability to maintain my own saws. The surprise was making two new back saws to add to my quiver. And that is the short story. Upon reflection, many details were also learned about the craft and the tools that are used...I surely was not disappointed.
I want to thank you so much for this past weekend. I found the entire time spent at your shop to be fascinating, informative and fun—we really enjoyed the entire process! I can't wait to get started working on some vintage saws. I also appreciate the time you spent with Amber. She really loved the challenges, and is also looking forward to practicing the craft of sharpening. I really am proud to know that I made this Roubo Beastmaster. Pretty Awesome!